Thursday, March 14, 2019

Seeking Amazing Creators

I want to do something for my fellow creators out there. By creators, I mean writers, authors, artists, illustrators, and more. Who knows who or what I will find, but that's the idea. Of course there are some parameters.

I'm looking for the types of creators who fit the vision of Galaxy Zento. So I won't be seeking out things like romance, erotica, historical fiction, nonfiction, memoirs, or westerns. Does anyone even write westerns anymore?

I'll be looking for fantasy and adventure in several venues. It is possible some romantic work may fit there as well as some mystery. I'll also take horror.

In art I'll be seeking the most creative and unique styles I can find. Yes, comic book art will be high on my list, but not my only target.

You do not have to be published to gain my interest in writing about you. You do need to have something I can show off about you. That can be a website and some photos of your smiling face. The more you have, the more I can show about you. Follow that with details about what you do, maybe some snippets of your current work in progress and whammo. Article! All I ask for me to write about you is that you share what I write about you in this blog with all your social media. It can't get easier than that.

I write all about you and you share. Simple and effective.

Articles of this kind will be titled "Amazing Creators" followed by your name (or whoever's name).

And that's it. Want to be considered? Just send me a message on any of my social media or comment on this blog. Give me links to your website, FB page, and twitter if you have any of it. Instagram works too.

Let's do some good for creators!

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Blog Fiction: A Wizard's trip to the Bank

Boreas in his more magical garb
Mark strode into the bank with angry confidence. This was the day. This was the day he would get what the world owed him. No one batted an eye at his heavy puffy coat as he made his way to the center of the lobby floor. Patrons and tellers were busy with transactions while the security guard read a newspaper.

"EVERYONE ON THE FLOOR NOW!" Mark shouted as he threw his coat open revealing the explosives he had strapped to himself. In his hand he held the dead man's switch. "IF I LET GOT OF THIS WE ARE ALL DEAD!" He turned to the security guard who now second guessed reaching for his gun.

"Lay down on the floor, badge!" Mark warned him.

Panicked patrons did as he asked, except for one. On calm man stood by a table littered with forms. He appeared distinguished in his three piece suit and trilby hat. His reddish brown mustache twirled upward in undeniable style. As the man regarded a piece of paper with scrutiny, he all but ignored Mark.

"Hey! Are you deaf or stupid? Get on the floor!" Mark shouted.

"I do believe I will decline that invitation." Said the man. "A person doesn't dress like this to rub himself on filthy tile."

"Just who do you think you are? I'm the guy in control here! I'll kill everyone!"

"Please, sir, just listen to him." A woman on the floor said.

"Not to worry, young lady, as they say in the comics, I've got this." He turned his gaze back to Mark and slapped the paper on the table. "As for who I am; I am Boreas the Wizard. You are Mark Boggs and you are going to jail today without blowing up anyone."

"A wizard? Are you kidding me? Are you senile?"

"Hardly." Boreas gestured with a hand and made a few symbolic flexes of his fingers.

"What was that?" Mark asked in exasperation and held out the dead man's switch. "Maybe you'd like to see my hand gestures?"

"Go ahead. You're vest is full of silly putty. Quite harmless. But then, you are also threatening me with a potato."

Mark looked to his hand in astonishment. He was indeed clenching a harmless potato. This was all the security guard needed as a cue to tackle Mark to the floor. People gasped and some sighed in relief.

"Wow. Are you really magic, sir?" A little boy rushed up and asked Boreas.

Boreas knelt down and put a hand on his shoulder. "Yes I am and you are safe now. Say, would you like to see another trick?"

The boy nodded with excitement.

"Then behold! I just turned Mark's socks into peanut butter!"

"HEY!" Mark shouted as he was cuffed and dragged away. "MY FEET!"

Boreas ruffled the little boy's hair and stood up. He took up his deposit slip in hand.

"Now were was I? Oh yes. Back to business."

Friday, March 1, 2019

Fallout 76: Are you tired of PVP jerks? Solution within:

First of all, lets define. Are you a PVP jerk? Just being a PVP (player vs player) player doesn't make you a jerk. Forcing your way of play on others does. You can cite definitions of the wasteland at me all day long. It won't change that fact.

Discussions of PVE players versus PVP players get drawn out into long arguments and debates. From what I've seen people who go around "killing" other players and destroying their camps believe they are a natural force of the wasteland and their game style should thus be respected over all others. They chide at PVE players who don't like being targets to "stop crying and just go away".

And that makes them jerks. Why? Because the simple reality in any multi-faceted gameplay is that you cannot demand others "respect your game style" when you won't respect theirs. It's also a general fact of life.

This brand of PVP player is nothing but an online bully. We need to adapt a new mindset to deal with them. I have personally been quite successful at this. Now I want to help you do the same.

Recently I had quite a few PVP jerks tell me they would kill me if they saw me. So I posted a challenge. I gave my gamer tag, thewildeman2 for Xbox1 and said, "come and get me". All they had to do was find me. Want to know how many showed up to kill me?

ZERO.

They had a whole day and a half to do it. But I don't stop how I handle them there. Here is how I dealt with the last person who tried to grief me.

When nothing worked to get this guy to stop shooting at me doing pitiful amounts of damage because I'm on passive (yes he killed me three times). I undressed my character down to his skivvies and a Farshact mask. I followed him around, running circles around him and doing the tea bag dance and spinning. I was on com challenging him to kill me again because 'I like it'.

He gave up and left. I literally ruined his experience just like he wanted to ruin mine.

That's what you have to do. Basically, become the most annoying person you can be without killing anyone even once. I am fine with saying that I'm really good at it.

OH, you want to blow up my base? Go ahead. I like building so I'll just hit the ol' "repair all" and zippity do dah. I keep plenty of building components on hand so blowing up my base has ZERO effect on me. It means nothing. Therefore, you mean nothing.

OH, you got my junk? Whoopty doo! I can get more and show more skill doing it.

That's the mindset you need to take to beat a griefer. Make their experience as low quality as you can, as irritating as you can, and ask low skill as you can. Show their style of game play equal respect to what they show yours. If enough of us do this, the game will become considerably less fun for them.

In the mean time, if you want to meet someone friendly and see Thewildeman2 out wandering around, you're safe with me. I play the wasteland chef, so be sure to ask if you are low on food. I'm also usually on com so make sure your settings are right if you want to hear me. I may even follow you on a mission or two. OH, but I don't join a lot of teams, so don't be offended if you send and invite and I don't respond. People who want to come and find me, literally have to come and find me.

Thanks for reading and I hope you find this information useful. Lets drive some griefing PVP jerks nuts.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Character spotlight: Falconer and Sersi

His real name is Dar Macabon and he lived on the planet Chyssia as leader of the royal guard for many years. Then his team was framed for the murder of the king and they were forced to flee to protect their infant princess. Because Chyssia is where the game of Chess really originated, they were called chessmen without a king and the name stuck. They became the Chessmen, fighting to go back home.

Dar earned the name of Falconer when he rescued an injured red falcon in the mountains. But this was no ordinary bird. Her name is Sersi, a mystical falcon and very rare. Being highly intelligent and capable of speech were only the beginning with her. Sersi is an amateur spell caster and getting stronger every year. For the sake of her team she specializes in healing magics, but her combat prowess is nothing to dismiss. Her power dive comes with a peal of thunder and red lightning. She can fell a thick tree with one pass.

Dar has power over the elements and weather. He can generate storms and manipulate elements in any form. He can make earth churn like water and shape fire into anything  he can think of. He can generate micro winds for shoving people out of they way or full force hurricanes. In a major fight he prefers lightning but is highly practiced in every angle of his abilities.

When it comes to his team, Dar is deeply concerned with their innocence and the effects of being forced away from home. His leadership is firm yet caring and conscientious. Sersi is in love with him but keeps that fact well hidden, hoping to one day change form to a humanoid woman for him. Together they inspire a team loyalty that surpasses most similar hero teams.

Dar's most notable drawback is his personal guilt over what happened to his team and the situation they are in.  He feels he should have seen the whole thing coming and no one, not even Sersi, can convince him otherwise. (Avoiding spoilers, you'll just have to read Chessmen to find out.) Dar also prefers to avoid combat if possible, but he isn't afraid to deal punishment to anyone who earns it.

Falconer and Sersi in combat are a fearsome force to behold. If he doesn't have to worry about his teammates, he and Sersi can clear a battlefield of minor threats in seconds. He can obliterate heavy artillery and possibly even throw it into orbit. Both of them can fly in space with assistance of Sersi's magic and Falconer's ability to carry an aura of sustainable atmosphere with him. He can channel lightning in space, but the lack of other elements restricts his abilities.

Their dedication to the princess is stronger than any known bond and they protect her with their lives. The only thing more powerful is the drive to take her and the team back home.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Diversity in writing done right


You want your work to be accepted by as many people as possible. You decide that you want diversity in your work. Well, my friend, there is a right and wrong way to do that and we're going to give some examples today.

First of all, what does diversity in creative works mean? It means that you have a healthy variation of cultures represented in your work. This includes ethnicity, religion, and yes, sexual orientation. While diversity and being inclusive are important, going too far can get you labeled as an SJW and cloud the story. Let's use some live examples while realizing that opinions will vary.

During Capaldi's run in Doctor Who, there was a companion named Bill. Bill was gay. I feel comfortable saying 'was' because she was turned into a Cyberman and eventually killed. Uh oh, spoiler warning? Too late. There is nothing wrong with Bill being a gay woman or lesbian if preferred.  The problem was that Bill felt the need to announce this fact in practically every other episode to the point of boring it into the viewer's skull. What's wrong with that, you ask? Well, what is Doctor Who about? Is it adventures through time and space or being gay through time and space?

Now let me give you an alternate view. There is another show (okay okay, spoiler warning) called The Rookie. It's a show about becoming a police officer staring Nathan Fillion as the 'main rookie' though he has two cohorts with him. One of them is Officer Jackson West. During the Valentine's day episode he asks a male nurse out on a date. Through the series we saw several times that Jackson referred to problems with his mother over him being a cop. While you could entertain suspicion, it was never a flagrant and in your face issue. When it finally comes to be, it's casual and basically just like it would happen for any straight person. You don't feel like 'gay' is being shoved down your throat. See the difference. Now we will see more of Jackson's relationship, I'm sure, but presenting them as people rather than a label will always be more successful with your audience.

Another well written example is in the show 911. Hen Wilson is a married gay woman with a child. It never needs to be explained because if you can't tell that Hen is gay by the time her wife is introduced, it's on you. Thanks to letting the characters simply be the people they are, no one ever has to make a big character point of waving a flag and going "SEE THIS CHARACTER IS GAY" which is really poor writing to do so.

This goes the same with any form of culture you are including in your story. If you story is all about how to live in that culture, then that's great. Otherwise remember to keep to what your story is about. Let your character show who and what they are rather than waving the flag.

Please keep in mind that I only use being gay as an example here. Thank you.

One of my main characters in my hero works is from Egypt. That alone suggests that he may be Muslim. I leave that for the reader to decide (but he is Muslim). He has the likeness and powers of the god, Anubis but his human half still has feelings, concerns, and culture. It's not easy to mix that in to a story with multiple characters, but I definitely want him to be seen as a person, not a culture.

Thanks for reading and keep writing!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

No Trespassing (Blog fiction)


The great fan of the air boat roared in their ears as they sped across the waters of southern Louisiana. They held their guns ready for anything in their path on the way to the meetup. The buyer wanted sufficient tree cover in the swamp for the purchase. Lemmy didn’t like the idea but he had drugs to sell. A buyer’s eccentricity could be tolerated most of the time. The coordinates led to an arrangement of shacks on stilts over the water. No one lived in them. They were entirely for deals like this. They were meant to look like some swamp person’s little hideaway. Something people in those parts left alone on general principle.

“There. There they are. Pull right up to them.” Lemmy said to his pilot. He adjusted his tie and tapped a finger on his machine gun strapped over his shoulder. Two more boats of Lemmy’s boys followed them in.

Booker and his guys were in row boats and pirogues. They came out of a part of the swamps you couldn’t take an airboat through. He preferred using thick trees to cover his exploits and knew he was tough to follow. He smiled revealing gaps from missing teeth and the sun shined on his bald head. Lemmy and his boys were suits and ties. Booker’s were scrap shirts and jeans. Lemmy liked machine guns while Booker’s guys carried rifles and shot guns.

Lemmy gave a friendly salute as his boat came nose to nose with Booker’s.

“You think you could pick and uglier place to meet?” Lemmy joked.

“What? You don’t like the greenery?” Booker gestured in a wide sweep of his arms. “This is home. Don’t talk bad about my home now.”

“Take it easy. I’m just busting your balls. I got your order here. Two waterproof plastic crates of white gold, just like you asked.”

“Excellent. We have your money the same way.”

A loud and low growling sound echoed through the shacks and across the water. All the men did double-takes of their environment to see what did it. They saw nothing.

“What the hell was that?” Lemmy said.

“Probably just the rugaroo. Legends around these parts say there’s a monster. Oooooo. Ha. I don worry bout it none. It’s not real.” Booker laughed.

That’s when a shack exploded off its stilts and flew over their heads with a savage snapping of wood pillars. Lemmy dropped to his knees while two of his men went into the water. Booker fell off his boat with a splash. The beast in the shack’s place stood 14 feet tall and nearly as wide. It had the head of the biggest alligator you could dream of and stegosaurus plates reached up from its back. Gator hated evil in his swamp. The legends were true.

Gator had been watching Booker and his men. He knew these men were up to no good and in his swamp to boot. Ever since evil men used science to make him into a monster, he patrolled his swamp. Not even littering college students escaped his wrath. But he only scared those. These men needed more convincing. Gator was happy to oblige. With a whip of his thick powerful tail, he turned the shack he hid behind into a flying arrangement of kindling.

Men yelled in terror at the sight of him and opened fire in panic. It didn’t matter what kind of guns they had, the bullets were worth less than falling acorns. Gator let out a roar that rippled the water and pushed boats away. Then he charged into their midst. He snatched a rowboat out of the water with one enormous hand, flinging its occupants into the air. He threw that boat at one of the air boats, smashing both to bits. More men were thrown into the drink. Two were severely injured.

Gator didn’t want to kill anyone. He did want to make sure he left a lasting impression on these men to never come here again. Another whip of his tail capsized every one of Booker’s remaining boats with a powerful splash and wave of swamp water. Another stilted shack collapsed into so much driftwood garbage. In moments, only Lemmy remained on his boat and all others were trashed. Booker stood up in the water choking for breath.

Gator grabbed Booker up out of the water and put him on the airboat next to Lemmy. He took up both plastic containers of drugs in one huge hand and showed them to the men. Gator cocked his arm back like a professional baseball pitcher and threw the two containers out toward the Gulf of Mexico. The two shocked men watched as over a million dollars in cocaine flew out of sight into the distance.
Gator turned back to the men and roared in their faces as they screamed like children. Lemmy felt himself defecate.

Gator left them with one word before turning and lumbering away.

“GO.”

Before disappearing into the trees, Gator picked up some wreckage and threw it at the last standing shack, reducing it to splinters.

Now they knew the legends were true. Word still got around. It’s his swamp. No trespassing.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Death is Blind (Blog fiction)

The rhythmic tapping of the cane against the sidewalk told Solomon his path was clear. The footfalls of the bustling New York populace around him kept him informed on every body nearby. He didn't really need the cane but being blind served him well. He allowed others to underestimate him on a daily basis. It made his job easier.

Solomon killed people for money. Today he moved in on a particular target; a businessman. A businessman who refused to do business with Solomon's employers in the Foundation. A great assassin knows everything about his target's living routine. Being blind was no exception. Solomon had already followed the man several times. He knew things about him that no one else would ever pick up on.

For example, this man's gait was slightly off to the right, causing his right shoe to make a distinct scrape against the sidewalk. A scrape only Solomon could hear. The man had breathing issues and a heart murmur. Solomon could hear them all. As if that weren't enough, Solomon could smell him too. He wore a cheap brand of cologne that stood out in the crowd. It mixed with his deodorant in just a certain way. Solomon didn't need to see to identify his target perfectly.

The smells of steam and coffee from a mobile street cart told him he had arrived in front of the insurance building his target worked at. He heard the chatter of a group of women that always arrived at the same time every morning. They stood around the same coffee cart. Solomon had come by every day for a whole week to observe his target and the environment. He knew every detail.

Beyond the women around the coffee cart, he knew all the traffic. Two buses, one of them carrying his mark, would come through opposite directions at the same time. The same loud and angry taxi driver would be right behind them, yelling obscenities out the window at anyone in his way. A CEO barking orders over his cellphone hurried through the crowd past the group of women. They would giggle at him every time. At a far end of the building a man begged for change. Every scent, every sound, and every angle of the passing breeze served as Solomon's map.

He heard the air brakes of the city buses and tensed his hand on the end of his cane. He stood stock still, just a few feet away from the chattering women who enjoyed their coffee and gossip. Through all the foot falls he picked up that one shoe and its unmistakable scrape. There had been a small rock in the sole of that shoe for the last three days. The first sound of it meant his mark was 12 feet away. Solomon touched a small button on the end of his cane. A tiny needle emerged at the other end.

The smell of the cologne meant he was 5 feet away and the sound of the heart murmur meant 3. With only the movement of a wrist and natural looking use of the cane, Solomon flicked out the end making contact with his mark's right ankle.

"Ow!" The man said. "What the heck was that?"

Solomon heard him shake his foot and continue to walk. He retracted the needle to the notice of no one. The smell faded on the breeze and the sound of the heartbeat and breathing faded. The scraping of the shoe stopped abruptly followed by the sound of the body hitting the concrete. As surprised yells and rushing footsteps resulted, Solomon quietly walked away, tapping his cane to find his path as if nothing had happened.

No one thought anything of a platinum blonde blind man in a dark blue business suit. After all, he was blind. What could he do?

(Thank you for reading and hopefully sharing this flash fiction about one of my characters. Check back often for new quick reads about amazing characters. Want even more? Hit the links in the upper right to find my author's page and full books!)

Monday, January 7, 2019

Have you seen Jack Black lately?

Jack Black is living the dream. The man announced his retirement at his Hollywood Star ceremony in September. But don't think that means you won't see him anymore. Jack has taken to Youtube with a couple of channels that show he's really doing just what he loves to do. And above all, he's totally being himself.



His new channel is called Jablinski and he said it's about gaming. But you should know, with Jack, nothing is totally as it seems. His first official video on the subject takes you 'old school' with a 3 minute tour of vintage pinball machines. I would personally have liked to see a longer video and more about the machines than 3 minutes. Still, it was a fun 3 minutes.

I'm not sure how thought out Jablinski is at this point, but I do hope to see more. I found myself able to relate to Jack in several ways. Our beards are very similar and I'm pretty weird myself. I also troll my kids pretty much the same way he does in the video. Jack embraces being a bearded weird very well.

And why not? This is how you 'live the dream'. Be yourself without shame or care and do what you love to do. Don't you wish you could do the same? I'd say Jack has earned this time for himself and should be free to do just as he damn well pleases. So give it a gander and get ready for how refreshing begin so carefree can be. Right on, Jack!